After discovering a whole new world of Geocaching, we finally had a go at it ourselves!
In case you’re wondering, Geocaching is a world-wide treasure hunt where clues are given through coordinates or puzzles in a general area to find a cache. Caches are usually found in small waterproof containers that contain a log book for you to leave your mark when you find it! From popular tourist attractions to secret spots locals may not even know of, here’s some learning points from our local treasure hunt.
1) Singapore is not as small as we thought.
While traveling to geocache marked sites in Singapore, we came across a handful of parks and trails that we’ve never seen before… even when we’re locals. Sunplaza Park, Tampines Avenue 4 Maze Park, even a Japanese Cemetry Park… We always complain about how small and boring Singapore is, but I guess we still have quite a lot to discover about our own country!
2) Start easy.
Each geocache is assigned with a difficulty level and that column should not be overlooked. Learning it the hard way, we decided to be garang and start the day off with a level 3 cache. We ended up logging it as a DNF (did not find) after a whole hour, jaded from the first experience.
Moral of the story is: it’s okay to start from level 1, and perhaps you may want to try from there to get a better sense of it when you’re just starting out.
3) Patience is a virtue, so is moving on.
As some clues are really challenging, it will take you some time to reveal the location. It’s meant to be tough. It really is. So don’t get too annoyed when the clues just don’t make sense – they will, somehow. And when it does, the mini sense of achievement will be worth it! However, also don’t get too worked up if it can’t be found. Maybe the cache has been moved, destroyed by outsiders or animals. Update the community with a DNF and move on to the next better secret spot.
4) Prepare to get your hands dirty.
From mosquito infested parks to huge threatening ants, geocaching sometimes involves digging in a little bit of nature. You might want to get prepped with insect repellent and a whole lot of bravery. That being said, I would like to move on to my next point.
5) Dressing appropriately is key.
Slippers and shorts may be comfortable but not the most ideal attire when you head out for geocaching. Mosquitoes aren’t really the type to listen to your pleas for some alone time and ants only recognise their own kind. We learnt it the hard way, you’re welcome.
6) Factor in time for distraction.
We’ve lost count of how many times we got distracted while searching for a hidden cache. A milo stop here, a Macdonald’s soft serve there… even worse when the cache is in a food centre itself! We probably made more stops than necessary and spent a significant portion of time satisfying our tummies – the hunger is real. If you’re an easily distracted foodie like me, just remember to factor in some distraction time. 😛
7) Geocaching can be an alternative way of travelling.
Geocaching is global. This means that there are hidden caches everywhere around the world. If you’re travelling and get a little sick of mainstream attractions, you can opt discover places through geocaching!
Caches also contain a variety of items. From old coins to animal figurines. One of the caches we found had a metal tag called a ‘travel bug’. Printed on the travel bug is a code and a website where you can uncover a hidden message, usually asking to be brought to another cache – possibly in another country. You can choose to pick them up and bring them closer to their destination or just leave it for the next geocacher.
8) Lastly, geocaching is NOT for everyone.
Discovering different corners of the country in search for items hidden by strangers and leaving your own mark can be a lot of fun. But some caches involve wrecking your brains on challenging puzzles, crouching and digging in search of hidden caches, and getting bitten by bugs. If you’re not ready for these, you might want to sit out on this one.
That sums up our geocaching adventures! Even though there were mixed feelings about the entire geocaching experience, we had lots of fun in between!
Check out our Beginner’s guide to Geocaching in Singapore.
Have you tried geocaching? Share with us in the comments below!